Oscar Beat: Who Benefits from MONUMENTS MEN’s Move to 2014?

     November 2, 2013


This year’s Oscar race is proving to be one of the most competitive in recent years.  With Gravity and 12 Years a Slave already announcing themselves as major frontrunners in multiple categories, well-received smaller dramas duking it out to overtake the top spot, and films from Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell still on the way, there’s not a lot of breathing room.  Perhaps that’s why we’ve already seen a number of would-be contenders get the heck out of Dodge and move to 2014  with the latest being George Clooney’s World War II drama The Monuments Men.

The pic had all the staples of an Academy favorite, but with its release now shifted to next February, which of the other contenders might benefit from its absence?  We discuss that and more in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

the-monuments-men-matt-damon-george-clooneyWhile The Monuments Men is fresh on everyone’s minds as the latest film to be pushed to 2014 at the last minute, a couple of other possible contenders jumped ship over that past few months.  The Weinstein Company’s Nicole Kidman-fronted biopic Grace of Monaco was moved to Spring 2014 last month, and following the leak of a truly stellar first trailer, Sony Pictures Classics opted to move Bennett Miller’s drama Foxcatcher to an unspecified date in 2014.  Both moves were officially made to give the filmmakers more time in the editing room, but it’s no coincidence that the films were facing some heavy competition from a very crowded awards race.

The move of The Monuments Men was made in order to give the film’s team more time to finish up the visual effects, but Clooney himself admitted he felt more comfortable releasing the picture in February where the pressure of awards contention would be lifted.  The film’s trailers promised a movie that was considerably lighter in tone than Clooney’s recent directorial efforts, and while the film surely would have garnered some sort of Oscar attention, the director can now focus on pleasing audiences without worrying about awards reception.

However, the move of The Monuments Men to 2014 could have repercussions for the rest of the Oscar race.  Should the film have opened in December and made good on its promise of a lighter romp (mixed in with some serious World War II drama as well), the Academy may have sparked to the movie as a foil to the deadly serious tones of films like 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Captain Phillips.  With Monuments Men out of the picture, it’s possible a couple of the more comedy-geared contenders will benefit from not splitting the “lighter movie” vote, namely Russell’s American Hustle and Scorsese’s black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street.

american-hustle-bradley-cooper-christian-baleThough no one has actually seen American Hustle or The Wolf of Wall Street just yet, Russell’s films always have a touch of humor to them (as gleaned in the trailer) and we already have confirmation that Wall Street will compete in the Best Musical/Comedy category at the Golden Globes, so it’s fair to say both films are just a smidge lighter than a decade-long plight into slavery or drifting into the abyss of outer space.

With Monuments Men now gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Academy take a stronger liking to one or both of these films.  Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicles the studio’s road to making Mary Poppins, is another film that could benefit from Monuments Men’s absence, as is Alexander Payne’s well-received Nebraska.

This is not to say the Academy has a certain threshold for the amount of “comedic” films it will allow in the Best Picture race, but historically the votes trend towards the dramatic side of things.  As such, one less “lighter” film in the race increases the odds of films like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Saving Mr. Banks, and Nebraska breaking into the major categories.  Will any of them have the goods to go all the way?  It’s still too early to tell, but the race is far from over.

Click on over to Page 2 for an updated list of my predictions for the 2014 Oscars.

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  • maka

    Who Benefits from MONUMENTS MEN? Monument’s men itself!
    because, I couldn’t do nothing , 12 years a slave is the front runner.

  • Bob

    12 Years a Slave should be in 1st. Its the cblear winner so far. Heres mine

    1) 12 Years a Slave
    2) Gravity
    3) Captain Phillips
    4) Her
    5) Inside Llewyn Davis
    6) The Wolf of Wall Street
    7) American Hustle
    8) Dallas Buyers Club
    9) Blue Jasmine


    10) All is Lost
    11) Saving Mr. Banks
    12) Nebraska
    13) August: Osage County
    14) Rush
    15) Lee Daniel’s The Butler

    Long Shot

    16) Philomena

  • ulle

    Human kind benefits because Monuments Men is gonna suck.

    • Daniel Kane


  • derek

    12 years a slave will win. Because it leaves you planted into your seat minutes after its over.

  • rajv

    Some of the earlier releases are forgotten in this list. James Franco should get a supporting actor nomination for ‘Spring Breakers’. Best Director – Derek Cianfrance for ‘Place beyond the pines’. Best Actress – Shailene Woodley for ‘The Spectacular Now’. I would definitely rule out ‘Labor Day’ in all the categories.

  • Grant

    I would really like to see Tye Sheridan in the Best Actor category… thoughts?

    • Ryan M

      I agree, Tye Sheridan was pretty damn good in Mud, also Jeff Nichols should be getting some love for Best Director and Best Screenplay.

  • Mirko

    In my opinion, Saving Mr Banks goes in nomination. Also Emma Thompson, actress in a leading role.

  • André Camilo

    Funny how 2014 Oscar race seems overcrowded and 2013 nominations was so uninspired.

  • Walter White

    You forgot about “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Or did you just write it off? Why would that be? I mean, judging by the trailer, Idris Elba looks like he’s gonna kill it. He should at least be in consideration for Best Actor. The movie itself looks good, but the critical reviews seem a little mixed. But still, it’s a Weinstein Co. film. They could get him a nomination if they wanted to. I hope they do and I sorta hope he wins. Go Stringer Bell!

  • Guest

    surprised Bad Words is a n Oscar front-runner. i haven’t heard any buzz out from it yet

  • Guest

    Gravity may deserve some award for visuals but everything else with this movie is terribly lame and boring!

  • cb

    HAve not seen12 yrs yet – am planning on it – heard it was great- well acted, great script. But Gravity? Give me a break – floating in space for 90 minutes with, yes, a good performace by Sandra Bullock, but not my favorite for the year. Come on, a ‘green screen’ film with 2 big name actors does not a story make. In fact, the metaphors were hitting you so hard in the face that you would have to be stupid not to see them…..rebirth? Salvation??? whatever. Just plain stank and I am, for one, do not care if I go against the ‘popularity’ of this boring drivel.

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